Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Comp Rights: Are you being treated fairly?

Iowa affords most workers in the state the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits if injured on the job or if they develop an illness related to their work. But unfortunately, some workers are not fully aware of their workers’ comp rights, and employers or insurance companies may take advantage.  Make sure you know your rights under Iowa workers’ comp law if you suffer injuries in Des Moines so you can exercise them to recover fair benefits. Read on for a few questions to ask to help you determine if your employer and/or the insurance company is treating you fairly.  Am I collecting all benefits to which I am entitled?  Make sure you get all of the benefits available to you. Workers’ comp law in ... Read More »

What You Need to Know about the Iowa Respiratory Protection Program

The Iowa Department of Administrative Services’ respiratory protection program sets certain standards to protect workers from respiratory hazards they encounter when performing job tasks. Consider the following program requirements expected from your employer and from you as an employee for following the guidelines of the respiratory protection program.  Supervisor Responsibilities  Your supervisor or manager is responsible for proper administration of the program in your workplace. It is your manager’s duty to educate all employees in his or her charge regarding proper use of the respirator gear and guidelines for when it must be worn.  In addition, your manager or supervisor must do the following tasks.  ensure respiratory protection training among employees. ensure all employees receive medical evaluations prior to the use of respirators. keep all ... Read More »

Does workman’s comp cover heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Yes, workman’s comp covers heat exhaustion or heat stroke if you suffer the condition during the scope of your employment. Workers may also bring third-party claims against third parties that are liable for their injuries.  For instance, a worker who suffered heat stroke because of defective equipment in a boiler room can possibly bring a third-party claim against the manufacturer of the defective equipment.  But keep in mind that filing a workers’ comp and third-party liability claim can create complex legal situations. Des Moines workers who have suffered injuries as a result of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in the workplace can discuss the specifics of their cases with an attorney.  What benefits may a worker who suffered heat stroke recover?  Workers’ compensation in Iowa ... Read More »

Can you fight a workers’ compensation claim in Iowa?

Many workers’ compensation claims are denied in Iowa each year, so if you have been denied you are not alone. Claims are denied for a number of reasons. The employer may argue that the injury did not occur at work, the condition is not work-related, or that the damages the victim seeks are beyond what is acceptable.  But that does not mean you have to accept that decision. If you feel you have been unjustly denied benefits, you can fight a work comp claim in Iowa.  What should I do if my employer is denying my claim?  If denied workers’ compensation and fighting the denial, one needs proof of entitlement to benefits. Contact all witnesses to the event and get a hold of all relevant ... Read More »

Who You Can Sue for a Slip and Fall at Work

Workplace accidents are unfortunately common in the state of Iowa. According to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 54,000 cases of workplace injuries and illnesses in Iowa in 2012 alone.  Of course, in a regular slip and fall accident, you may be eligible to file a claim against the owner of the property for the negligence to provide a safe environment. If you have sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident at work though, it is important you understand the actions you can take, and to contact a legal professional with any questions.  Injured Workers Can Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits  If an individual suffers an accident while at work in Iowa, she may be eligible to receive compensation via a ... Read More »

Overview of the New Social Security COLA

Each year, people’s cost of living expenses increase in Des Moines and across the United States. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) keeps track of these cost of living increases. The Social Security Administration bases its Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLA) for disability benefits on the CPI. The CPI is basically an indication of how much it costs the average person to purchase goods and services.  The goods and services used to calculate CPI are representative of what most consumers purchase, for example:  groceries; mortgage or rent; and transportation costs.  It is important to note that for those that own homes, the number included in the cost analysis is what your house would rent for, rather than its resale value. This is because the CPI does not factor ... Read More »

5 Myths About Workers’ Compensation

Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Act protects employees in the case that they are exposed to occupational disease (85A), occupational hearing loss (85B), or if they sustain injury (85) during the course of their employment. If you’ve been injured at work and believe you’re entitled to workers’ compensation, make sure you can separate myth from fact by reviewing these workers’ compensation myths before you take any action:  1. Workers’ Compensation Will Pay for Everything  While Iowa statute 85.27 requires workers’ compensation to pay for all medical care required to treat your injury, including transportation costs, workers’ compensation may not cover all damages incurred by your workplace injury. For example, disability benefits are calculated by the employee’s average gross weekly earnings and cannot exceed 80 percent of your ... Read More »

Iowa Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis is a painful and potentially debilitating condition most commonly caused by overuse. This condition commonly affects workers who perform repetitive activities, such as lifting heavy boxes.  You may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you can prove your shoulder bursitis is a result of your work duties or an on-the-job accident. Your workers’ comp claim should provide evidence to satisfy the requirements for the benefits requested. For instance, if you seek Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), you must be able to prove your shoulder injuries created a permanent impairment.  What is shoulder bursitis? The Symptoms and Impact of Shoulder Injuries  Shoulder bursitis is an inflammation or irritation of the bursa. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac located between the bones, muscles and ... Read More »

Sibley Company Fined After Employees Were Injured on the Job

Sibley-based Current Electric was fined in January for numerous safety violations (KTIV, Jan. 22, 2014). The fines came on the heels of a July 2013 flash explosion at the Timewell Drainage plant. Five Current Electric workers suffered injuries in the work accident and were sent to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.   Iowa Occupational Safety and Health (I-OSHA) – the state equivalent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – conducted an investigation into the incident. I-OSHA levied a $6,000 fine against Current Electric for four serious violations. The infractions included workers not wearing required personal protective equipment and improper tagging of deactivated circuits.   What to Do When You Are Concerned About an Unsafe Work Environment  Workers’ compensation attorney Corey Walker is familiar with ... Read More »

Iowa Woman Sprayed with Fire Hose Denied Workers’ Comp

In January, Iowa Deputy Workers’ Compensation Commissioner William Grell denied an injured worker’s claim for permanent disability benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation program. (Des Moines Register, Jan. 30, 2014)  The worker, an employee of West Liberty Foods, filed a claim seeking permanent partial disability compensation in connection with a March 2010 incident at the turkey processing facility. The female employee was one of roughly 15 workers exposed to potentially hazardous fumes during an ammonia spill at the plant.  Because of the spill, the worker was forced to strip down in front of other individuals. She was then sprayed with a fire hose in what turned out to be an unnecessary decontamination process. The worker and other employees were transported to University of Iowa Hospitals ... Read More »

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